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Ferrum College News

Dr. Dane Fausnacht, Assistant Professor of Biology appointed as QEP Director

FERRUM, VA, June 27, 2024 – Dr. Dane Fausnacht, assistant professor of biology, has been selected as the new director of Ferrum College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP is a five-year plan selected by faculty and administrators within each ten-year re-accreditation cycle for focusing on a high-priority student learning goal. Engage for Success is the current QEP, with student engagement defined as “the student body being involved in the diverse array of experiences in college life.” 

dane fausnacht in ferrum polo in front of tress for staff photo

Fausnacht holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Science from Virginia Tech, where he taught courses in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science from 2018 to 2022, he managed laboratory work and conducted research, as well as mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Fausnacht has co-authored articles in The Journal of Animal Science and other professional publications. At Ferrum College he teaches a variety of biology courses, from Introductory Biology to Genetics and Human Nutrition.

The QEP Director’s responsibilities include day-to-day operations of the QEP and educating students, faculty and staff about the program. Fausnacht will lead the QEP Committee and work with programs across the campus to encourage participation in college activities and track attendance at events. The director administers mini-grants that fund projects organized by faculty and campus groups each semester to enhance student engagement. 

Dr. Ed Hally, associate professor and program coordinator of political science, served as the QEP Director from 2020 to 2024. He led the development and implementation of the Engage for Success QEP, which includes six categories of student engagement: athletic/physical, civic/community, cultural, intellectual, social, and spiritual life. Halley noted that “engaged students adjust to college life better and tend to feel a greater connection to their fellow students, Ferrum faculty and staff, and the College as a whole.”

“I am very excited to start as the new QEP director,” said Fausnacht. “The reason I love Ferrum and chose to come here is the intimate and cozy environment. There truly is a possibility to get to know all of our students, faculty, and staff, and insure no one is left isolated or abandoned. This campus is a family, and it is my goal, as the QEP director, to bring our family together. After all, who doesn’t love a big family gathering?”

The College’s accrediting institution, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, reviews the impact of each QEP as part of “an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes.” Ferrum College is assessing how increases in student engagement affect key indicators of student success: retention, grade-point average, graduation rates, and student satisfaction. Recent innovations in the Engage for Success program include using an online app called Modern Campus to advertise scheduled activities and record attendance, and awarding prizes to the most engaged students.

“We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Dane Fausnacht has been named the QEP Director, said Ferrum College President Dr. Mirta Martin. Dane’s dedication to academic excellence and his passion for student success make him an outstanding choice for this role. The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a college-wide initiative aimed at improving student learning over a five-year period. We are confident that Dane’s leadership will drive this important effort forward.”